Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. has announced his intention to run for a third term. Federal lobbyist and City Councilor G. T. Bynum IV has announced his intention to run against Bartlett.

My one-word take:


Tulsa needs better choices. (I won't say "deserves better"; as Mencken wrote, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.")

If these are our choices, I'll be sitting this election out, as I did in 2013. Neither candidate is a conservative. G. T. Bynum has been a leading proponent of leftist social policies at City Hall; Bartlett has offered no resistance to those policies. Both men are besotted with the expensively foolish idea that "water in the river" is the key to Tulsa's future prosperity. Bartlett endorsed the explicit corporate welfare of Vision2 Proposition 1; both endorsed Proposition 2, which was a bad financial deal for the City of Tulsa.

Neither have been advocates for sound urban design and land-use policy. Bartlett has promoted the idea of converting 12 acres of park land on the river to a massive parking lot surrounding a big-box store; when the Council voted on the Comprehensive Plan changes to enable the development, Bynum recused himself. Both are residents of Tulsa's Money Belt, the tiny ultra-wealthy section of town with an insular mindset that has been home to almost every mayor of Tulsa.

Bynum deserves credit for a couple of positive fiscal changes, such as the enactment of a city rainy day fund, but, as much as I dislike Bartlett's performance as mayor, Bartlett may be marginally preferable on the principles of harm minimization and "Stick to the devil you know." While Bartlett will go along with leftist social policies, he is not likely to initiate them; Bynum will likely feel obliged to make Tulsa "more progressive" in hopes of attracting young professionals. Bartlett is near the end of his political career and unlikely to pursue higher office. Bynum is young and ambitious and more likely to use the Mayor's office as a springboard to higher office, where his advocacy for leftist social policies and useless and expensive public works projects can cause considerably more damage.

2016 is looking to be the year of the outsider in presidential politics. Perhaps it could be the year of the outsider in local politics as well.

Last Tuesday night, Rosaria Butterfield, Ph.D., gave a talk on sexual identity to a standing-room-only crowd in the Great Room at the University of Tulsa's Allen Chapman Activities Center. Butterfield's visit was sponsored by several evangelical Christian groups on campus: Reformed University Fellowship, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Chi Alpha, and the TU Wesley Foundation, which are connected with the Presbyterian Church in America, the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, and United Methodist denominations, respectively.

Prior to Butterfield's talk, an aggregation styling themselves "The Students of United Campus Ministry, Pride at TU, the Society for Gender Equality, HeadStrong, and Earth Matters" issued an open letter objecting to the event. The University of Tulsa Collegian published the open letter (PDF), along with a list of signatories and a response from the groups sponsoring the event.

United Campus Ministry is sponsored by local congregations affiliated with the PCUSA, Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Universalist denominations.

Here is an excerpt with the gist of the protest letter:

The students of United Campus Ministry, the Society for Gender Equality, HeadStrong, Earth Matters, and Pride at TU want to state publicly that we are outraged that several ministries from the university will be hosting Rosaria Champagne Butterfield on November 17th.

Mrs. Butterfield speaks openly not only about her conversion to Christianity, but also her conversion from lesbianism to straightness.

Mrs. Butterfield believes that being gay or transgender is fundamentally opposed to being Christian.

Inviting someone to speak about orientation as a spiritual or psychological weakness actively creates a hostile environment for all LGBTQ+ students.

Many of the students who are concerned about this speaker's presence on our campus identify as both Christian and LGBTQ+, and we believe that by hosting Mrs. Butterfield, these campus ministries are trying to silence our voices and invalidate our identities....

Any discussion or promotion of such practices, or suggestion that sexual orientation is not immutable is discrimination and a threat....

We will not allow our community to be harassed without responding. We will not accept hate speech on our campus without condemnation. We will not allow our loving community to be hurt by this woman's supposed wisdom. We will not be broken by your hate.

The letter follows the typical pattern of campus hostility to free speech, casting the discussion of ideas in terms of safety: "hostile environment," "a threat," "oppression," "hate speech," "safe place," "harassed." The aggressor poses as victim: They claim that that their voices are being silenced, while it is they who are attempting to silence the voices of Rosaria Butterfield and the campus organizations who invited her.

It should be noted that the night of the speech itself went surprisingly well, to the credit of the university. Protesters lined up at the top of both staircases leading to the Great Hall, holding signs but remaining silent, and not obstructing people going to the talk. (I'm not sure if that was their decision or at the insistence of campus police.) During the talk, the protesters stood along the walls to the right of and behind the audience, so they heard the speech. During the Q&A following Butterfield's talk, most if not all of the questions were from protesters and most of those seemed to be sincere inquiries, not gotcha questions. It seemed as if Butterfield's telling of her story disarmed them. When questioners started asking follow-ups (holding up a long line behind them) or making statements following the answer, Butterfield gently requested that they stick to one question and follow the ground rules.

For the record, here is the list of signatories of the open-letter, the supporters of shut-uppery at TU. (If you signed this letter and later come to regret your hostility to the free expression of ideas, contact me at the email address in the sidebar, and I'll be glad to note that you've withdrawn your support.) Alumni donors to TU should note that a couple of the signatories are departments funded by the university.

The Women's and Gender Studies Department
The University of Tulsa Institute of Trauma, Adversity and Injustice
The Student Alliance for Violence Education
Lisa Wilson
Evan Taylor, East Side Chrisitian Church
Rev. Nancy J. Eggen
Rabbi Micah Citrin
Ekklesia at Missouri State University
Rev. Robert Martin
Fr. Dewayne Messenger
Rabbi Karen Citrin
Rev. Chris Moore
Rev. Fred Turner
Rev. Susanna Weslie
Kelley Friedberg
Phill Melton
Sara N. Beam
Rev. Geoffrey Brewster
SA President Whitney House
Pride and HeadStrong President Tara Grigson
President of Society for Gender Equality Gracie Weiderhaft
Whitney Cipolla
Dr. Melinda McGarrah Sharp
United Ministry Executive Director Jennie Wachowski
Oklahomans for Equality
Lamont Lindstrom
Dr. Maralee Waidner
Mana Tahaie
ABC Vice President Kyla Sloan
Sheridan Turner
Bridget Branham
Nicole Nascenzi
Lauren Jackson
Karl G. Siewert
Isaac Sanders
James Johnson
Rosie A. Lynch
Jack Kent Cooke
Cameron Cross
Samantha Overstreet
Sonja Worthy
Cody Jackson Brown
Tina Daniels
Scott Gove
Mary Wafer-Johnston
Brynn Jellison
Zane Cawthon
Morgen Cavanah
Elizabeth Cohen
Brittany Bell
Justin DaMetz
Bronte Pearson
Alyssa Adamson
Megan Senol
Melissa Miller
Casey Mattin
Alex Wade
Sara Douglas
Charissa Schaefer
Emily Landry
Seton Lazalier
Michelle Hunter
Mariah Rubino
Nicole Flippo
Ashley Bailey
Will Schoenhals
Sierra Dyer
Ken Leep-Sills
Sharon Bishop-Baldwin
Lauren Keithley
Toby Jenkins
Don Satterthwaite
Josh Harris
Lucille Hengen
Hayley Harris
Anna Facci
Misti Yerton
Diane Bucchianeri
Abigail Obana
Robin larson
Jessica Pongonis
Stephanie Greif
Megan Curtis
Scott Arnold
Jordan Dunn Hoyt
Mark Archer
Giselle Willis
Sarah Hicks
Carly Putnam
Conor Fellin
Ronni Joe Killion
Julia Evans
Lisa Dodwell
Madison Reid
Ashley Knapp
Brian Hasse
Lauren Delucchi
Chris Madaj
Shiloh Tune
Judith E. Nole
Justin Turner
Prof. Amy Schachle
Alicia Ruskey
Deanna Tirrell
Casey Copeland
Shannon Martin
David Burch
Aiden Smith
Sean C. Conner
Laura Banks
Phillip Jennings
Grace Heaberlin
Daniela Rosales
Karyn E. Fox
Paul Meuser
Stephen Place
Laci Lynn
Sean Patrick Rooney
James Scholl
Tyler Carter
Julie Austin
Kaitlyn Marie Counter
Carlos Martos
Benjamin Buchanan
Adela M. Sanchez


In 2014, the British Broadcasting Corporation re-created five missing episodes of the groundbreaking and ever-popular radio sitcom Hancock's Half Hour, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the show. Of the 102 episodes broadcast over six series from 1954 to 1959, 20 episodes are missing from the archives. In response to popular acclaim, five additional episodes of The Missing Hancocks were recorded this past spring and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 each week beginning this Monday, November 23, 2015.

The uncanny ability of this cast, led by Kevin McNally as Tony Hancock and Robin Sebastian as Kenneth Williams, to recreate the voices and personalities of the original actors, is on display in this clip:

The episodes will premiere each Monday at 11:30 am British Standard Time (5:30 am Tulsa time), but will be available for online streaming for about a month after the broadcast. The first episode is already online and is linked below:

1. How Hancock Won the War, 2015/11/23

2. The Red Planet, 2015/11/30

3. The Marriage Bureau, 2015/12/07

4. A Visit to Russia, 2015/12/14

5. The Trial of Father Christmas, 2015/12/21

MORE: Four further episodes were recreated on stage by the same cast at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe, and we can hope that these will be the one next to be recorded and broadcast: The Winter Holiday, New Year's Resolutions, Prime Minister Hancock, and The Three Sons.

UPDATE 2015/11/10: Congratulations to David McLain, who has won the SD 34 GOP primary, with 42% of the vote to John Feary's 39%, a margin of 70 votes out of 2,137 cast. Because there is no runoff, McLain advances to face the Democrat nominee, J. J. Dossett, in the January 12, 2016, special general election. McLain won by holding Feary under 50% on his home field, dominating in his own home base in Skiatook, and sweeping Tulsa precincts, which Feary seems to have ignored. Feary only managed 46% and a 132-vote margin in Owasso. Feary also edged McLain in Collinsville precincts, 40%-36%, 11-vote margin. McLain won Skiatook 82% to 13%, 85-vote margin, and won 60% of the vote in the Tulsa precincts over Feary's 25%, by a 120-vote margin. A bare majority of the 30 Rogers County voters went for Mark Williams. McLain won absentees and early voters by 5 and won Sperry precincts by a single vote.

Congratulations also go to taxpayers in the Northeast Tech Center district, who voted by a 3 to 1 margin against an increase in the property tax rate for funding buildings and against making the levy permanent. What we used to call vo-tech schools have been on a building spree of late. While these schools perform a valuable function, they typically have a permanent levy which produces far more revenue than they need to accomplish their mission, and so they put the money into big, shiny new buildings. If anything, vo-tech schools ought to cut millage so voters can choose to allocated it to other taxing entities more in need of revenue. Or better yet, let's have a College Re-Alignment and Closure commission (CRAC) to reduce duplication among Oklahoma's taxpayer-funded post-secondary institutions.

Tomorrow (November 10, 2015) is a special primary election to fill the Oklahoma State Senate District 34 seat in the wake of Rick Brinkley's resignation. Senate District 34 (click for PDF map) includes all of Tulsa County north of 66th Street North (including the Tulsa County portions of Skiatook, Sperry, Owasso, Collinsville), the City of Tulsa northeast of Pine and Yale, northeast of the Admiral Twin, and northeast of 89th East Ave and 21st Street, and a small, mostly uninhabited section of Rogers County north of the Port Road.

There is a Democrat in the race, but because District 34 is heavily Republican (a Republican has held the seat since the 1994 election), and because in this special election there is no runoff, the winner of tomorrow's GOP primary will almost certainly become a state senator. Although I don't live in District 34, I grew up there, and I join conservative activists and elected officials like State Rep. Chuck Strohm, State Sen. Nathan Dahm, and County Assessor Ken Yazel in urging District 34 Republicans to vote for David McLain.


David McLain is a Skiatook resident, a veteran of the U. S. Navy, and owns a small business in the construction industry. David and Aleen, his wife of 26 years, have three grown children and two grandchildren. McLain has been endorsed by the Oklahoma Conservative PAC, the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, and the leaders of ROPE, the grassroots group that defeated Common Core. McLain supports the right to life, the sanctity of marriage, parental choice in education, lower taxes, and less-intrusive government.

Here's what public officials have written in endorsing McLain (legislative ratings are from the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper):

State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Tulsa, conservative rating 100): "David McLain is a man of good character and faith. He has shown throughout his life to be a servant of the people and I know we can count on that same heart of servitude from David if elected. David's understanding of the principles of liberty is a trait that I believe will serve the people of SD34 well. Currently, I call David my friend, but I hope to also call him my colleague."

Rep. Chuck Strohm (R-Jenks, conservative rating 100): "It is an honor to endorse David McLain for the Oklahoma Senate. David has integrity, and he understands the fact that the principles which gave us the US Constitution are based in the Judeo-Christian belief system. He will join me in standing against Federal and Judicial overreach as we fight to preserve the values that we are seeing deteriorate before our eyes. Please vote for David McLain on November 10th and help elect a true Conservative as your next state Senator."

Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel (R): "I believe David McLain is the right man to represent the people of SD 34. As a fellow veteran, I know David has a deep understanding of the Constitution and will take his oath of office seriously. As a fellow conservative, I know that we will be able to trust that David will represent our Republican values well. David McLain is the right man for the job!"

We are at an interesting point in Oklahoma politics. The state is so overwhelmingly Republican that the special interests who had traditionally given to Democrats have discovered that the only avenue to influence legislation is to invest in Republican primary candidates. These special interests want to defeat fair-deal, grassroots Republicans, who want to make government smaller, but they find that they can work with wheeler-dealer Republicans, who are happy to have bigger government and higher taxes, as long as their allies can be the beneficiaries of those higher taxes.

With Republicans in solid control of every executive office, the State House, and the State Senate -- 40 seats out of 48 -- the real battle in Oklahoma politics is over what kind of Republicans will run state government.

I should stipulate at this point that both wheeler-dealer and fair-dealer Republicans are generally united in support of pro-life issues and Second Amendment rights. But wheeler-dealers have put the brakes on reform of taxation, schools, and the judiciary. They tend to like special tax credits for targeted beneficiaries. When the State Chamber says jump, the wheeler-dealers ask "How high?"

A look at endorsements and funding indicates that McLain's chief opponent in the race, John Feary, is aligned with the wheeler-dealers. Feary has the financial backing of leading Obama fundraiser George Kaiser and some of Kaiser's close associates, as well as many statewide political action committees and lobbyists.

Feary has been endorsed by the State Chamber of Commerce. Conservatives have learned that "chambers of commerce" at every level -- federal, state, and metro -- often support cronyism and oppose reforms that empower individuals, families, and entrepreneurs. The State Chamber has targeted solid conservative legislators for defeat, supporting primary opponents and sometimes even Democrats, as they try to reassert control over the legislature. Chambers often block conservatives on social and cultural issues, preferring profits to principle.

Last year, Feary ran a very negative campaign against Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel. Yazel has been the taxpayers' best friend at the County Courthouse, and because Yazel has opposed foolish sales tax increases and has called the public's attention to the wasteful allocation of our taxes, he was targeted for defeat by the local wheeler-dealers, who backed Feary. Feary lost in a landslide.

Feary, a City of Owasso employee, was also a vocal defender of City Manager Rodney Ray, who left Owasso under an ethical cloud. Rodney Ray was charged with and ultimately pled "no contest" to passing a bad check and making a false police report (he claimed the bad check had been stolen). Other OSCN entries for Rodney Ray suggest a pattern of financial irresponsibility over several years.

At that time, Feary wrote me defending Ray's performance as City Manager: "I would ask that you keep JB [sic] mind that Mr. Ray is not an elected official and his personal finances and family situations are not the business nor should they be if concern to J.B. Alexander and his group of cronies. The Owasso City Council makes the decisions and sets policy so Mr. Ray's private matters are not indicative or reflective of his job performance."

This election is to replace a state senator who pled guilty to crimes connected with embezzlement from his employer. Does it make sense to replace him with someone who regards the financial misdeeds of the CEO of Oklahoma's fastest growing city as merely private matters, and who regards concerned citizens as a "group of cronies"?

David McLain's financial support has come mainly from small donations; I recognize many of his donors as solid conservative activists. The only PAC to give money to McLain is the Oklahoma Conservative PAC.

There are two other candidates on the Republican primary ballot, Mark Williams and Chuck Daugherty, who do not appear to be running an active campaign. Because there is no runoff election, conservatives need to unite behind one candidate. If the conservative majority splits its votes, the candidate backed by Obama fundraiser George Kaiser will win.

We don't need another state senator who will owe his election to special interest groups, lobbyists, and big Democrat donors. We need a solid conservative who will carry out the conservative reform agenda in Oklahoma City. I urge District 34 Republicans to get to the polls tomorrow and support David McLain for State Senate.

Fred Thompson, RIP

| | TrackBacks (0)


Tribute image posted on Facebook by National Review

I was sad to hear of the passing, on Sunday, of actor, lawyer, and former U. S. Senator Fred Thompson, who was felled by lymphoma at the age of 73. My condolences to his family and friends, with my thanks for supporting him in his service to our country.

Writing for Commentary, John Podhoretz tells Fred Thompson's story through the lens of his research into a 1993 profile of Thompson, who was then preparing to leave acting and run for Senate. It is worth reading in full. Many other blogs have quoted the passage about Thompson's regrets over his prosecution of moonshiners while serving as an assistant U. S. Attorney. I was impressed by his account of Thompson's self-education in political philosophy and how it served him well as he entered electoral politics many years later:

I asked him what it was that had made him a Republican. He said that when he was working at nights behind a motel desk, he needed to stay awake, and he began to read National Review. Eventually that led him to William F. Buckley Jr.'s oeuvre, and to Hayek, and to Whittaker Chambers's Witness, and to Richard Weaver's Ideas Have Consequences, and to other works that helped him develop a philosophy about the centrality of the individual and the dangers of an overreaching state -- the same overreaching state he would serve in prosecuting those moonshiners a few years later....

But it was philosophical conservatism that had captured his attention in his college and law-school years. His election in 1994 as part of the Gingrich Revolution was not only due to his attractiveness, his resume, and his literal star power, but because he was intellectually in tune with the changes being wrought to the GOP. The very qualities that made him a memorable performer and a good senator--that combination of amiability and steel--did not really include the consuming ambition to rise to the top.

I was impressed, too, at the easy way he wore stardom:

The thing about Thompson was, he continued to work as a lawyer throughout his career as an actor in The Hunt for Red October, No Way Out, Days of Thunder, Cape Fear, and other pictures. Among other things, he was one of the three trustees of the Teamsters pension fund, which had been seized by the government. So though he rose to the point where he was likely making close to half a million dollars per picture, he was not dependent on that work for his livelihood -- and there were things he did not wish to do.

That included cursing on the screen. He had a fight (I recall him saying it lasted several days) with the famously temperamental producer Joel Silver on the set of Die Hard 2 because the script called for him to use the F-word. His contract specifically said he would not use profanity. Silver didn't care and simply could not imagine Thompson would make trouble on this score. But unlike other Hollywood players, Thompson viewed acting as a lark, and was able to stand his ground.

Podhoretz noted the conflict between the demands of high-stakes politics and Thompson's temperament, a temperament better suited to observation than action:

Thompson was not suited to the task of running for the presidency, I think, because he had an essentially ironic view of the world and its workings. In the last years of his life became one of Twitter's best political tummlers, issuing forth perfectly crafted one-liners about the absurdities of the Age of Obama. On September 23, only five weeks before his untimely death yesterday at the age of 72, he offered this: "Obama at a school in Iowa: Students 'shouldn't silence' guest speakers who are 'too conservative.' Yes. That's what the IRS is for."

As longtime BatesLine readers will recall, I was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Thompson's 2008 run for president, as was much of the conservative blogosphere. Thompson was well-informed on the issues, well-grounded in principle, willing to speak politically-incorrect truths and not back down, but in a reassuring, avuncular manner and with a dry wit (which he continued to display after the campaign on his own radio show and his Twitter account).

Here he is from 2007, discussing amnesty and the border fence:

As blogger See-Dubya noted on the occasion of Paul Harvey's death:

One more thing: back when Fred Thompson was just flirting with running for President, one of the things that excited me the most about his candidacy was his ABC radio addresses he gave while sitting in for Paul Harvey. I thought that was a politically brilliant move that really showcased Fred's strengths-authentic, no-BS Heartland conservatism. I wasn't the only one-I kind of trace the groundswell of interest in Thompson back to his time broadcasting from Paul Harvey's chair, and likewise the deflation of the Thompson bubble to the time he left it.

Here in Oklahoma, Thompson managed to win the endorsement of Sen. Jim Inhofe, then-U. S. Rep. John Sullivan, local radio talk show hosts, and other prominent officials and activists.

Alas, Thompson's skills as a leader didn't match his skills as a communicator. Although he was accused of lacking "fire in the belly" (an accusation he ably rebutted), the real problem is that his campaign team was unable to organize and capitalize on the grassroots goodwill he enjoyed. His departure from the race brought forth numerous anecdotes about the disconnect between Fred 08 HQ and supporters. The Fred 08 letdown is why I feel compelled to look not only at policy positions but the fundraising skills and campaign logistics required to reach the finish line as I decide which of several good candidates will have my support for 2016. Perhaps a more ambitious, higher-strung Fred would have been better able to push and direct his campaign team, but would a more ambitious, higher-strung Fred still be Fred?

(No Fredhead was as enthusiastic as Jackie Broyles, fictional co-host of Red State Update. His response to Thompson's withdrawal involved gasoline and matches. The latest "Ole Timey Country Down Home Red State Update Podcast 'n' 'Em" remembers Fred Thompson by Dunlap reading some of his pithy recent tweets as Jackie laughs and sobs.)

After the campaign, Thompson began a syndicated radio talk show with his wife Jeri as his co-host. Many of his interviews with newsmakers are available on the Fred Thompson YouTube channel, which also has video from his 2008 campaign.

Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post reviews the career of "one of the most talented politicians of his generation":

Former senator Fred D. Thompson (R-Tenn.) died Sunday at 73. He will be remembered by most Americans as an actor who became a politician. But he also was one of the most gifted pols of his generation, possessing a natural ability that helped him win a Senate seat with ease but also led to his underwhelming 2008 bid for president....

The buzz around Thompson was considerable in those first few years in Washington, as many Republicans viewed him as the second coming of Ronald Reagan, another actor-turned-politician. Thompson was regularly picked by his party's leaders to deliver their message du jour and was seen as someone who was simply biding his time until he ran for president....

I've always thought of Fred Thompson in basketball terms -- and not just because he was 6-foot-6. He was like a tremendously gifted hoops player who played the game because he was good at it. But he never really LOVED the game. He could take it or leave it. Just like when a supremely talented basketball player either doesn't live up to his supposed potential or walks away from the game at a young age, Thompson's unwillingness to take full advantage of the tremendous natural political gifts he was given was met with exasperation by both less-talented politicians and the staffers who tried to get the best out of him.

But that was Thompson. He always had those abilities, so they didn't seem as amazing to him. And if he was "wasting" them, well it was his life. "I can live, I will be happy either way, you decide," he once said on the campaign trail in Iowa. "I'm not even trying to say that I'm better than everybody else. ... I am just saying that what you see is what you get. I'm doing it my way -- just like I have done everything else in my life."

While Thompson had every right to live life as he chose, and it's understandable that anyone would prioritize family (particularly young chlidren) over public life, what's missing from Thompson's quote here and Cilizza's analysis is a sense of stewardship of one's gifts and abilities. I can't help but think that, had Thompson put in the work to develop in his areas of weakness, his strengths would have made him the man of the hour in 2008. His grasp of conservative principle was both intuitive through his small-town Tennessee upbringing and grounded in his extracurricular law-school reading. His commanding and reassuring presence, familiar through his work in Hollywood, might have been able to sell conservative policies to low-information voters in a way that John McCain and Mitt Romney never could.

As we honor Thompson for his significant contributions to the public good as prosecutor, corruption-busting attorney, senator, presidential candidate, and commentator, the sense of unrealized potential should challenge us all to examine our own gifts and opportunities and ask what we should be doing to amplify our impact on a nation that desperately needs conservative influence and leadership (even if they don't know it yet).


Cilizza links this ad from Thompson's 1994 campaign for Senate, which he says shows "Thompson at the height of his powers":

WSJ Editorial Board remembers Sen. Thompson's investigation of the Clinton campaign-finance scandals as "his finest role":

Younger readers who want to know what a second Clinton Presidency would be like could do worse than inspect the volumes of sleazy facts that Thompson and his investigators uncovered. There was Mr. Clinton's refusal to implement a Nafta trucking provision in return for Teamsters money; one-time Commerce official John Huang who midwifed illegal contributions from Lippo Group employees; fixer Harold Ickes's fantastic vanishing memory; the Lincoln Bedroom cash machine; Mr. Gore and the Buddhist Temple of money, and so much more.

Thompson's committee became the main source of public information about the scandal that played a crucial role in re-electing Bill Clinton because Mr. Clinton's Attorney General Janet Reno refused to appoint a special prosecutor and the Justice Department brought relatively few charges. Had the offenses been committed by Republicans, the press corps would have called for heads on pikes but the Clintons stonewalled their way to survival as usual.

Cilizza's colleague Justin William Moyer explains how a legal case Thompson took out of pity for a woman persecuted by the local political machine became his inadvertent ticket to Hollywood:

In 1976, Marie Ragghianti, a mother of three who put herself through Vanderbilt University, was appointed chairman of Tennessee's parole board by Gov. Ray Blanton (D). Yet she ran afoul of Blanton when, after learning the governor took cash in exchange for a convict's clemency, she started voting against his recommendations. In 1978, she was fired after what turned out to be a largely groundless investigation of her expense records. She was also put under state surveillance, set up for DUI charges and falsely alleged to have stolen credit cards.

So, Ragghianti went to see a Tennessee lawyer she had seen on TV during Watergate: Fred Thompson.

"I tried to talk her out of a lawsuit," Thompson wrote. "They could make her life miserable in ways that she could not understand." Another problem: "Marie had uttered the most terrifying words that a lawyer can ever hear: 'I am broke.'"

But Ragghianti's story tugged at his heartstrings.

"The more I thought about it, the more I knew she was right about one thing: What they had done to her was cruel and unfair," Thompson wrote. "... I never did like Blanton anyway. It would be fun to rattle his cage."

When Hollywood decided to make this David v. Goliath victory into a movie, and they couldn't find the right actor to play Fred, they asked Fred to play Fred, which turned into a career:

"When they needed some middle-aged guy who'd work cheap, they'd call me for a little part and I'd go out there two or three weeks and knock one out," he said in 1994.

Some said he was a natural -- or, at least, a natural for the parts he played.

"Literally, I don't think Fred ever acts," Tom Ingram, a longtime friend who worked on Thompson's Senate campaigns, said in 2007. "He played himself in 'Marie,' and he's been playing himself ever since."

WSJ quotes from Thompson's 2007 op-ed on the positive economic effect of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts:

In fact, Treasury statistics show that tax revenues have soared and the budget deficit has been shrinking faster than even the optimists projected. Since the first tax cuts were passed, when I was in the Senate, the budget deficit has been cut in half. . . .

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this success story is where the increased revenues are coming from. Critics claimed that across-the-board tax cuts were some sort of gift to the rich but, on the contrary, the wealthy are paying a greater percentage of the national bill than ever before.

The richest 1% of Americans now pays 35% of all income taxes. The top 10% pay more taxes than the bottom 60%. ...

To face these challenges, and any others that we might encounter in a hazardous world, we need to maintain economic growth and healthy tax revenues. That is why we need to reject taxes that punish rather than reward success. Those who say they want a "more progressive" tax system should be asked one question:

Are you really interested in tax rates that benefit the economy and raise revenue--or are you interested in redistributing income for political reasons?

The Daily Signal has collected 31 of Fred Thompson's best quotes, including several of his recent Twitter aphorismata:

5. "After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood," he said in a speech before the Commonwealth Club of California.

14. "Some of our folks went to Washington to drain the swamp and made partnership with the alligators instead."

23. "On ABC, Josh Earnest said that the economy is 'building momentum'. Well, Josh, things that are rapidly going downhill often do that."

29. "NYC reports it's struggling to keep booming population of stray cats under control. Tough one. Have they tried cat-free zone signs? "

Peter Suderman at Reason:

He went on to play numerous other roles in the following years, including a memorably grave Navy Admiral in The Hunt for Red October and a key supporting part as an air-traffic-control director forced to deal with a chaotic terrorist attack in 1990's Die Hard 2.

Neither of those roles were showy, and you can easily imagine lesser performers disappearing into the parts. But they played to Thompson's strengths; he projected authority, responsibility, and competency, even as everything went to hell around him. You could imagine Thompson--or at least the character he played--being in charge, and being good at it....

Thompson sought to capitalize on that same impression in his 2008 run for president, but he could never quite pull it off. In the debates, he never seemed quite well enough prepared, and the presidential persona he was obviously aiming for never quite stuck. At heart, Thompson was always a character actor, not a leading man.

At the same time, his unwillingness to dig too deep into the role was unexpectedly endearing. He wanted to be president, but he was not mad for the job or what it might bring. As George Mason Law Professor Ilya Somin said in a Facebook post last night, it may be that Thompson's "most admirable qualification for the presidency was that he clearly did not want the office nearly as much as most other candidates, and largely lacked their obvious lust for power."

Like all politicians, he was an actor playing a part. But unlike so many, he didn't let it consume him.

Andrew McCarthy, National Review:

He was one of the great gentlemen it has been my privilege to know. Fred would have been a great president because - and today's candidates could take a lesson from this - he cared more about America than about being president. He was not the best candidate, but he would have been the best incumbent.

John Fund, National Review:

In or out of office, Fred Thompson stayed true to the conservative principles he believed he had made America great. He always thought a major reason Republicans lost the presidency in 2008 was that they had aided and abetted runaway government spending. Republicans had to commit themselves to smaller government, he contended, because Democrats are incapable of following through on ever being fiscally prudent. "Their political coalition needs more revenue like a car requires gasoline," he told me as he ran for president. "Reagan showed what can be done if you have the will to push for tough choices and the ability to ask the people to accept them." Fred Thompson never made it to the White House, but he nonetheless showed a strength of character and a grounded belief in common sense that left his country a better place.

I follow Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Facebook page. While he often addresses grave matters like terrorism, many of his posts are about happier events relating to his responsibilities. For example, today he wrote about his speech celebrating the launch a plan to build 32,000 new housing units in the growing city of Ashkelon.


Netanyahu spoke about his vision to build stronger links between the different regions of Israel:

My vision is simple. My vision is to - to a great extent - cancel the term 'periphery' and link everything into one vibrant bloc. What I said several weeks ago, that my vision is to see Be'er Sheva with 500,000 residents in 12 years, I say to you Itamar, and to all of you, Ashkelon will be a city of at least 250,000 residents within 12 years. This is not only possible, it is happening before our eyes. It is a very great thing that is happening here. Of course this depends on many things. What we are doing today is essential. The transportation link, not just to Ashkelon, but in the south and throughout the country, is to link up everything, from Dan to Eilat, without a single red light. It won't be a two lane road but a multi-lane highway, and trains. Now from Ashkelon we are 50 minutes by train to Tel Aviv and to Be'er Sheva, and we will yet reduce this.

Most of the comments were supportive and celebratory, but one hostile comment stood out. It was from a Facebook user whose profile picture showed the Ayatollah Khamenei and the Iranian flag:

Mohammad Erdem

Masjid Al-Aqsa is a holy place of worship for the Muslims
Iranian army liberate the Al-Aqsa.
Jerusalem will be the capital of a future Persian Empire.
We are going to murder all 7 million Jews in Israel!!!!!

The post was timestamped at Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 4:02 pm CDT.


The video shows a soldier in camouflage fatigues suiting up, with close up cuts to putting on unit insignia, placing a book (a Qu'ran?) in one pocket and a handgun in another. Dramatic music plays in the background. The production values remind me of a commercial for the U. S. Army. The final scenes shows a growing mass of soldiers overlooking Jerusalem's Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, and the al-Aqsa mosque. I'm curious to know what the words at the end of the video say. Is this an official Iranian government message?

I have reported the comment to Facebook as hate speech. As of this writing it has not been removed.

From the Left Coast:

Concerns raised over lack of diversity in SF school election results

There's a bit of controversy surrounding student elections at a San Francisco middle school after the results were immediately withheld by the principal because they weren't diverse enough.

The incident happened at Everett Middle School in San Francisco's Mission District. The voting was held Oct. 10, but the principal sent an email to parents on Oct. 14 saying the results would not be released because the candidates that were elected as a whole do not represents the diversity that exists at the school....

According to Principal Lena Van Haren, Everett Middle School has a diverse student body. She said 80 percent of students are students of color and 20 percent are white, but the election results did not represent the entire study body.

"That is concerning to me because as principal I want to make sure all voices are heard from all backgrounds," Van Haren said.

The story quotes the mother of a 7th grader who is unhappy about the principal's decision:

Parent Bianca Gutierrez said the experience has made her son, a 7th grader, rethink his run for class representative. She said he is discouraged and does not want to be a part of the process anymore.

"That should have been something [discussed] prior to elections and prior to the campaigning process," Gutierrez said.

I wonder what voting system they used. Were representatives elected by grade or by homeroom? Was it first-past-the-post or some form of runoff? When constituencies are geographic, a certain amount of diversity is built in, but grades or homerooms at a school are all likely to have about the same proportion of different groups as the overall population. With such a homogeneous population distribution, a voting system designed to produce a plurality or majority result will likely give the most popular faction in the school all the seats.

If geography isn't a factor, and you're trying to produce a result representative of the diversity of the electorate, the Single Transferable Vote method may be the best method. With STV, if the council has M members elected by V voters, a faction of V/(M+1) voters (a number known as the quota) is sufficient to elect a representative.

It sounds like Principal Van Haren would like to classify students by ethnicity and have each ethnicity elect a proportional number of representatives, an approach that brings the final years of apartheid South Africa to mind. What makes STV superior to other forms of proportional representation is that it allows each voter to decide what kind of diversity is most important to him or her, and it also allows the voter to decide which candidate will best represent his or her priorities. A voter could decide that she cares more about having a student council representative who shares her love of Tolkien than having a representative who shares her ethnic background or her year in school. Instead of being assigned a constituency by some bureaucrat, in STV each voter effectively selects his own constituency.

Like instant runoff, in the STV system each voter casts a preferential ballot, marking "1" next to his first choice, "2" next to his second and so on. In instant runoff voting, counting, elimination, and transferring continues until one candidate has a majority of the ballots cast, because the aim is to produce a single candidate acceptable to a majority of voters. In STV, candidates are elected as soon as they can reach the quota of ballots -- V/(M+1).

Ireland uses STV to elect members of parliament from multi-member districts (each with 3, 4, or 5 representatives), which provides a combination of local representation and proportionality. It's also used for European Parliament, Assembly, and local elections in Northern Ireland, where the system ensures that both Unionists and Nationalists are represented, along with a range of opinions within each broader group.


CJP Grey has a "Politics in the Animal Kingdom" video which illustrates the process of STV in multi-member districts.

A memorial service for Lee Roy Chapman will be held Wednesday, October 14, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. at Cain's Ballroom. All are welcome. A fund for the benefit of his five-year-old son, Kasper, has been set up at GoFundMe. Friends are sharing memories on the "Remembering Lee Roy Chapman" page on Facebook. I've posted his curriculum vitae on a separate page and will add links as I am able.

Thursday night I got the news that Tulsa historian and artist Lee Roy Chapman had died. He was 46. Tulsa lost a passionate curator and narrator of its history, someone who delved into aspects of our city's past that aren't publicized as points of pride.

I first met Lee Roy at Coffee House on Cherry Street some years ago. This intense but soft spoken man with dark eyes and the bushy brown beard of a prophet introduced himself, squatted next to the table where I was writing and gave me two small pinback buttons, as he told me about his effort to rename the Brady District to honor Bob Wills. The buttons featured his own graphic art. One of the two buttons featured a jubilant Bob Wills, cigar in hand, superimposed with the word "REVOLT!" in yellow lightning-bolt letters.


The other button featured Bob Wills' 1948 Flxible Clipper tour bus, which he had traced to a field near Big Spring, Texas. Lee Roy hoped to bring the bus back to Tulsa, restore it, put it on exhibit, and take it on tour. He put an option on the bus to hold it until he could raise the money to bring it home. In June 2013, with the help of Loren Frederick, Bob's bus returned to Tulsa.

While I didn't always agree with the conclusions he drew, I always appreciated the passion and persistence Lee Roy brought to digging out the facts and then presenting his findings to the public in a compelling way.

For example, in 2011, Lee Roy and a team of people converted the storefront at 13 E. Brady, the location of Benny's Billiards in Francis Ford Coppola's Rumblefish and turned it into an art installation about the film. A video about the installation (embedded below) caught the attention of Chilean author Alberto Fuguet, who had been inspired by Rumblefish to write about the ordinary stuff of life. Fuguet had been working on a documentary about the film and its influence on Latin American writers and filmmakers. Fuguet had visited Tulsa a few months earlier and had been frustrated by his inability to connect with locals who loved and appreciated the film. Through the installation video, Fuguet connected with Chapman, who became his second-unit director, gathering footage of Rumblefish locations around Tulsa and allowing Fuguet to complete his homage, Locaciones: Buscando a Rusty James.

A man in the video says, "Lee Roy Chapman should be applauded for doing this.... That kind of energy and spirit really embodies what Tulsa is all about, in my mind, the best part of Tulsa."

I suspect that Rumblefish never caught the imagination of mainstream Tulsans because it was a Tulsa that had almost entirely succumbed to the urban renewal wrecking ball, a Tulsa that early '80s suburban mall rats didn't recognize as their own city.

Chapman was passionate about another body of artwork that mainstream Tulsa has ignored, the work of another curator of Tulsa's seamier side, photographer Larry Clark, whose 1971 book Tulsa depicted a teen underworld of drugs, guns, and sex. Chapman tried to persuade with Clark to do a retrospective of his work in Tulsa, as he had done in Paris, but without success; instead Chapman created a "guerrilla art installation," posting three-foot-by-five-foot prints of all of the images in the book in the ruins of the Big Ten Ballroom in north Tulsa. Photographer Western Doughty interviewed Chapman about the installation and published it in two parts on his blog: Part 1, Part 2. Here's what Chapman had to say about Tulsa's reaction to Tulsa, which gives you a sense of Chapman's own artistic mission:

[Clark's] work is representative of a whole side of Tulsa that still remains unseen. If it is ever seen by anyone, it's mocked. Tulsa tries to represent itself as this myriad of things, the first of which was the "Oil Capital of the World", but working to represent to the world wealth, class, prestige, and culture, there is a price; the working class has paid a price for that. And this book shows that price, all the drugs and violence, and all those excesses that come with being a part of the working class society. You're at war with main stream society, you're at war with the cops, and sometimes you're at war with yourself, and you can see that in the pages of this book. And for the book to be as well known, as influential as it has been, and for Tulsa not to have any representation of it here at all, not to have even tried, it's beyond neglect....

But the people who run the arts here, they want what every other city has. They want the A-lister stuff; they don't want anything that's organic. The formula has been that you have to move from here to become successful in the art world, either New York or L.A. I think some of that's changing, though, now....

Asked by Doughty if Clark's work had influenced him personally, Chapman replied:

Yeah, of course it has, to know that there is somebody living and running in not the same circles, but in similar circles, and has seen some of the things that I have. He was really one of the first photographers that documented the scene he was within, not coming as a photographer-colonizer. You know, "Oh, what a weird bunch. I think I'll take pictures of them." He was exposing his own secret. So I think that's the sign of a true artist, too. Of course, when you're dealing with other people, there are repercussions to that. But it's, for one, made me want to stay here in Tulsa and create, rather than going somewhere else. Two, it's made me want to force it on eyes that don't want to see it; I just think it's that important, not necessarily just his work, but that kind of work, that kind of organic, dirty, real work that only comes from the bottom up.

Chapman's last blog entry was about the Lew Clark Photography Studio on the west side of Peoria south of 15th Street. Lew and his wife Fran were Larry Clark's parents, and the little house that served as their studio, with the clock above the door and lighted portraits on display through the front windows, was a neighborhood landmark until a few years ago, when it was demolished for a parking lot.

It was Chapman who called attention to Tate Brady's connections to the Ku Klux Klan and vigilante justice. His exposé led to a public debate about Tulsa's founding father and the street, district, and neighborhood named in his honor. The debate received international attention and led to a compromise that left no one happy.

Chapman did some work for the George Kaiser Family Foundation (this silkscreen etching of Bob Wills from 2013) but that didn't stop him from taking some jabs at the billionaire and his incongruous ownership of Communist singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie's archives.

An inscribed first edition of Atlas Shrugged was found by George Kaiser, the billionaire banker and philanthropist, as he was unloading the materials from the back of truck last week.... Ms. Rand penned a nasty note on the title page; "Woody, you're a filthy [*******] hick. I hope you do gather all the poor together one day so they'll be easier to kill. One day a banker will own you. - Ayn"....

George Kaiser Family Foundation is kicking out the big bucks for a large scale mural of Woody Guthrie on the Tulsa Paper Company building, soon to be home of the Kaiser owned Woody Guthrie Archives, in the Brady Arts District. Is this mural supposed to offset the fact that the Guthrie Green and the entire district, has no representation or historic relevance to the park's namesake?

The original namesake for the green was to be the same as the district where the park is located, W. Tate Brady, architect of the Tulsa Race Riot and a founder of the Tulsa Ku Klux Klan.

This guitar's owned by George Kaiser

Woody Guthrie's 1930 Slingerland May Bell is owned by the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I'll betcha Woody wrote Jolly Banker on this one.

Lee Roy worked with the libraries of Yale, Duke, and the University of Tulsa, finding for and selling to these institutions books and ephemera relating to Tulsa history. Thanks to his efforts, Yale and Duke Universities have copies of the limited-printing original edition of Mary Parrish's first-hand account of the Tulsa race riot.

Last year, Lee Roy was kind enough to give me a sneak preview of an album of photos that were taken in the Greenwood District as it was being rebuilt following the 1921 Race Riot. The photos showed stylishly dressed African-American young adults posing in Deep Greenwood, out in the countryside, and at what may have been the Acme brick pits. These photos are now in the University of Tulsa McFarlin Library Special Collections and viewable online.

My last interaction with Lee Roy was indirect. A few weeks ago, my wife and youngest son were driving down 15th Street in the middle of the day when she noticed that Oak Tree Books was open. She had bought some bookshelves when the store was going out of business and was surprised to see it open, so she stopped in. Lee Roy was there. They chatted about books, children (he has a son a few years younger than ours), schools and homeschooling, and music. When he figured out that they were connected to me, he handed her a cassette album to pass along to me: "The Bob Wills Story: The Life and Music of the King of Western Swing," narrated by Hugh Cherry. There's a little Post-It stuck to the front: "Michael -- hope yr well. Lee Roy Chapman."

("The Bob Wills Story" is available for listening online at bobwillsradio.com.)

I was out of town at the time on an extended business and personal trip. I had intended to stop by and thank Lee Roy when I got back in town a week ago Tuesday, but getting back into the routine of family life distracted me, and it slipped my mind. And now it's too late.

The doors of The Marquee on North Main in Tulsa. Silkscreen art by Lee Roy Chapman, from a portion of a photo of Bob Wills in Indian headdress, when he was honored by the Osage Tribe. Photo found at topix.net.


Michael Mason of This Land Press posts a tribute, entitled "Lee Roy Chapman Is Still the King":

Last week brought the news that historian and journalist Lee Roy Chapman has passed away. Among the many roles he fulfilled, Chapman was a contributing editor at This Land and delivered some of our most well-known articles. He also hosted the Public Secrets video series, and was an ongoing resource in numerous other pieces. A polarizing yet beloved figure, Chapman leaves behind a rich legacy of scholarly work and groundbreaking journalism.

Below are links to the many works Chapman authored, along with videos in which he appeared. Besides being a skilled professional, Chapman was also a beloved colleague to many of us at This Land Press.

If your life has been enriched by Chapman's work, please consider donating to the Lee Roy Chapman Memorial Fund, the proceeds of which will go to the support of his son, Kasper Henry Chapman, age 5.

UPDATE 2015/10/13:

The Tulsa World and the Tulsa World Alumni Association have each posted an item about Lee Roy.

UPDATE 2015/10/20:

The video shown at Lee Roy's memorial, produced by Matt Leach, has been posted to Facebook. (I can't embed it here.)

Connor Raus has posted video of Lee Roy Chapman's 12-minute presentation "Twenty Shades of History Recovery" during PechaKucha 20x20 at Living Arts of Tulsa on April 12, 2013. It covers a range of topics, including the Race Riot, the impact of Brady District gentrification on the historic Greenwood District, Larry Clark, The White Dove Review, The Outsiders, Rumblefish, and Bob Wills's tour bus. It's a good overview of Lee Roy's range of interests and attitude.

So this is what I do. I read about this stuff, research it, and drive around and find this stuff. Some people care. Some people don't care. It doesn't pay. It's, like, horrible. I'm chronically unemployed. I'm obsessed....

In the Warsaw Ghetto, I don't think there's, like, an arts district named after Adolf Hitler. But Tate Brady is one of the few people that we know that actually participated in the Tulsa Race Riot, and did numerous other things.... If Woody Guthrie knew that he was in the Brady District, he would burn that park down....

Institutions aren't really that interested that much in what organically comes out of Tulsa. It's like it has to come from somewhere else....

(A quibble: To say that Tate Brady "participated" in the riot seems intended to lead the listener to conclude that Brady was part of the white mob that descended on Greenwood, killing African-Americans and torching their homes and businesses. But elsewhere Chapman says that Brady's participation was to stand guard on Main Street, well away from the battle lines, joining his neighbors in defending their buildings from any rioters. Some of the "numerous other things" that Chapman mentions were far more morally blameworthy -- his participation in the 1917 tarring and feathering of labor union activists, his membership in the Klan, his efforts to block the rebuilding of Greenwood after the riot -- but Chapman seemed to understand that saying that Brady "participated in the riot" communicated his unworthiness of honor in a way that needed no further explanation.)

UPDATE 2015/10/22:

Tributes to Lee Roy Chapman from friends, compiled by Josh Kline of The Tulsa Voice.

What follows is mainly from Lee Roy Chapman's LinkedIn profile. I thought that his list of accomplishments and the tributes from the people who worked with him needed a more permanent location. (You can read my tribute to Lee Roy Chapman here.) I will be adding to the list and adding links to articles and videos. Anything I've added is in italics.

Lee Roy Chapman is an independent scholar, journalist and historian specializing in the recovery of forgotten histories. In 2008, he established the Center for Public Secrets, a curated collection of artifacts that explores the sub-popular culture of Oklahoma. A longtime student of Oklahoma history with a special emphasis on race relations, art, and radical histories, Chapman has authored several articles that have received global attention. In 2011, he published "The Nightmare of Dreamland: Tate Brady and the Battle for Greenwood" in This Land magazine, which revealed that a founder of Tulsa was also an architect of the city's most violent hate crime--the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The article was lauded by historians such as Alfred Brophy and Scott Ellsworth, and has been cited by media companies ranging from National Public Radio to The Guardian.

Aside from his writings, Chapman has also produced and hosted several independent documentaries in which he discusses topics ranging from the Sex Pistols and the New York School of Poets to the art of Larry Clark as well as the hidden mass graves of African Americans in Tulsa. As a curator, Chapman has also located and acquired a number of important historical artifacts and artworks that now reside in university libraries and museums.

Chapman also frequently lectures in public and private forums, and has spoken to groups ranging from grade school students to university classrooms. His in-depth research into an eclectic range of subjects has earned him a reputation as an authority on Oklahoma culture and he regularly consults with foundations, companies, and private groups.

Center for Public Secrets
January 1999 - Present (16 years 10 months)TULSA


  • 2008 "Public Secrets ," Liggett Studios, Tulsa, OK

  • 2009 "Gaylord Herron"​

  • 2010 "The editors are not hipsters," Circle Cinema, Tulsa, OK. Warhol Screen Test

  • 2011 "Larry Clark's Tulsa," Public Installation, Tulsa, OK.

  • 2011 "Motorcyle Boy's Never Coming Back, " Bennie's Billiards [pop up] East End Gallery, Tulsa, OK. An autonomous installation featuring the work of S.E. Hinton, Francis Coppola and Gaylord Herron

  • 2012 "Strangelove: An evening of Cold War Fear and Propaganda," [pop up], Church of the Christian Crusade, Tulsa, OK. Curated artifacts regarding radio pioneer Billy James Hargis Pop Up

  • 2012 "Tulsa Time: The Graphic Legacy of Brian Thompson" Tulsa, OK. Presentation of iconic concert posters from an iconic artist.

  • 2014 "This is not a Larry Clark Show," Arts and Humanities Center of Tulsa, OK. Video installation from James Payne and photography by Nick Haynes.

  • 2014 "Locaciones: The influence of S.E. Hinton on South American culture," East Village Gallery, Tulsa, OK. Featuring photography from Western Doughty, Joe Cervantes and Gaylord Herron

  • 2015 Let's Get Lost/Chet Baker Installation Yale, Oklahoma - Pending


2009 Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys 1948 Tour Bus
(private collector)

2010 Ted Berrigan's contributor's copy of the White Dove Review
McFarlin Library/University of Tulsa

2011 A collection of Tulsa School of Poets printed materials
University of Tulsa McFarlin Library's Special Collections

2012 The Leon Russell Archive/Steve Todoroff Collection
OKPOP/Oklahoma Historical Society

2014 Events of the Tulsa Disaster
David Ruebenstein Library/Duke University

2014 Archive of 124 Greenwood reconstruction photographs from 1922
McFarlin Library/University of Tulsa

2014 Alvin Krupnick 1921 Race Riot Relief 8x10 photo
McFarlin Library/University of Tulsa

2015 B.C. Franklin Race Riot typescript, photos, scrapbooks

2015 Events of the Tulsa Disaster by Mary Jones Parrish
Beinecke/Yale University

Contributing Editor
This Land Press
February 2011 - December 2014 (3 years 11 months)Tulsa, Oklahoma Area

Writer, producer and host of Public Secrets video and print series.



Research and Discovery
Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture
May 2010 - May 2013 (3 years 1 month) Tulsa

Locating and acquiring information and artifacts for the Smithsonian Institution's NMAAHC.

Second Unit Director
June 2012 - July 2012 (2 months)Tulsa

Second unit director for Alberto Fuguet's Locaciones

"Mr. Chapman is a mind and a human engine to reckon with. He is outstanding in his brilliance, full of humor and wit, determined to tackle history and see it with new eyes and force of human empathy and drive.

I was able to meet and work with Lee Roy in a documentary I made on the symbiosis between Tulsa and the Francis Ford Coppola movie Rumble Fish. Lee Roy, as a advocate for Tulsa´s history and a historian and editor of the outstanding journal This Land helped me immensely, opened his heart and contacts and ended up being my director of second unit once I was back in Chile and felt I needed extra footage.

Lee Roy has turned is unfathomable knowledge about Tulsa and Oklahoma in
general in a creative way. He´s more than a historian or an academic; he is a writer,
a chronicler, a raconteur, a filmmaker and an over-all achiever. I know that when my
film was selected at the Telluride Film Festival last year, and was presented by
Francis Coppola, that Lee Roy was the one who helped get there."
- Alberto Fuguet

Research Specialist
Raisin Cain LLC
2010 - 2012 (2 years)

Research and development
Panhandle Plains Historical Museum
2006 - 2007 (1 year)

Assisted in the creation and production of artifact displays.

Acquisitions and Sales
Oak Tree Books
1998 - 2004 (6 years)

Locating, grading, mending, protecting, pricing, cataloging and selling rare and out of print books. Specializing in Native American and Oklahoma histories.

Lead Printer
Wackyland/Artrock/Frank Kozik
1993 - 1994 (1 year)

Pre-press, production and post-production of fine art serigraphs and rock posters. Prints are now part of University of Texas, Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design, RocknRoll Hall of Fame and Cain's Ballroom.


Cecil Cloud III

Lee Roy Chapman: Dogged pursuer of truth, finder of artifacts, artist and independent filmmaker. A rare combination of knowledge, skill and determination,
always seeking a challenge. The man to turn to for obscure information and forgotten documents.

Dean Williams
Chairman, Williams & Williams

Lee Roy has an artist's perception regarding location - the space where people, land and buildings interact; and a curator's instinct for what's relevant thereto. His passion for truth discovery is a courageous guide to what matters, regardless of the "winners" to date and powers that be that otherwise, and too often impersonally, impose their stamp at whatever costs. Lee Roy is an Oklahoma treasure, in that by stewarding what's just he also quite personally insures all that is creative and possible as between people and this land.

Michael Mason
Editor, author, journalist

The combination of unparalleled knowledge of his subjects along with the ability to endow his work & research with broad vision makes Chapman a singular person in his field, and one of Oklahoma's best resources on matters relating to history and culture.

Paul Gardullo
Museum Curator at Smithsonian Institution - National Museum of African American History and Culture

I continue to benefit from Lee Roy Chapman's expertise about Tulsa's and Oklahoma's history. Lee Roy is an outstanding writer and researcher whose skills in digging up crucial archives, stories, contacts and collections have proven invaluable to my work at the Smithsonian.

Silvio Canihuante
Productor Audiovisual

Lee Roy and his partner Jeremy Lamberton did a wonderful job shooting for three nights in Tulsa, OK. They went to awesome places, looking for the original locations of Rumble Fish, which was shot at Tulsa. Lee Roy as the director of the 2nd unit of documentary "Locations: Looking for Rusty James"


This Land Press has posted an item with links to many more of Lee Roy's articles and videos: "Lee Roy Chapman is still the king"

Lee Roy Chapman Flickr photostream: 511 photos from 2009 and 2010, including photos of the charred ruins of the Admiral Twin's original screens, images from the White Dove Review, an autographed copy of Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King Jr. and a program from his appearance at the 1960 Tulsa Freedom Rally, portions of the Bible in Choctaw, a biography of Sequoyah, books about Indian land allotments, Bob Wills 1948 tour bus (including the title), and Chapman's own artwork in various media.


Here is a link to a online real estate listing (no longer active) for a 640-acre spread between the Red River and Little Red River in Hall County, Texas:

640 Acres Bordering BOTH the Red River and Little Red River. This is the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River.

This is the original home place of Bob Wills. The old homestead is still there and would be inhabitable with a considerable amount of work. The home is being given no value. Electricity and County water available at home site.

This is an incredible hunting property, boasting numerous Large mule deer, white tail deer, turkeys, wild hogs, and dove as well. There is even some duck hunting when the Little red is holding water.

Also great for running cattle and growing crops in some areas.

If you're interested in raising deer or exotics, the neighboring tract is high fenced. This means about an entire 1/3 of this property is already high fenced!

Don't miss out on this pristine Panhandle Property!

The location is northeast of Turkey, Texas, which is home to the Bob Wills Museum and the annual Bob Wills Festival in April. It's not far from the Caprock Canyons -- pretty country where walls of red rock line the river valley.


Bob's family moved here in 1913, when he was about 8 years old. In a few years, he and his dad were playing house dances around the area. To finish this off, here's a song he might have played for one of those dances: Wednesday Night Waltz.

In the spotlight

Oklahoma Election 2014

Before you vote on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, check out...

BatesLine ballot card endorsements for
the Oklahoma 2014 General Election,
including state questions, district judge races,
and judicial retention questions.

Full archive of BatesLine coverage of the 
Oklahoma 2014 election.

Full archive of BatesLine coverage of
2014 Tulsa city & county elections.


BatesLine Linkblog

Latest links of interest:

get_iplayer lives!

Capture network streams from BBC iPlayer (TV in the UK only; radio around the world) for later listening using this Perl application. It is up-to-date with the BBC's recent changes in streaming methods. It's a command-line tool -- no GUI. get_iplayer documentation can be found here.

For example:

get_iplayer --type=radio --get "Missing Hancocks" --modes=flashaaclow --aactomp3 --force

looks for any programme with Missing Hancocks in the title, looks for a flash AAC stream for the program, converts the received AAC stream to MP3 (the default is MP4), and the --force option overwrites any previous recording.

In lieu of --get followed by a title, you can specify a particular programme ID with an option of this form --PID=b06qht29, where the string after the equals sign is the eight-character programme ID that appears in the BBC iPlayer URL for that episode.

The Onion: Toyota Recalls 1993 Camry Due To Fact That Owners Really Should Have Bought Something New By Now

It's a joke, but it cuts close to home: "'We understand that the 1993 Camry was tremendously dependable, but, honestly, there's just no excuse for driving a 22-year-old car at this point,' said Toyota spokesman Haruki Kinoshita...."

Seven reasons to ban the Lord's Prayer

British cinema chains have banned an advertisement for justpray.uk which features people saying the Lord's Prayer. As Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield, goes through the seven petitions of the prayer, he explains why its understandable that the Lord's Prayer would be offensive in the context of a cinema.

"We are created and loved and called into friendship with God who is our father and into community with our fellow human beings who are therefore our sisters and brothers. Only someone who has found this new identity can stand against the advertising culture which night and day seduces us to define who we are by what we spend....

"Third, and most powerfully, the Lord's Prayer teaches us to live with just enough. This is the most dangerous reason why it cannot be shown with the adverts at the cinema. It teaches us not to want more. It teaches contentment, the most subversive virtue of them all....

"There are only 63 words in the Lord's Prayer.  It takes less than a minute to say them.

"Yet these words shape our identity, give purpose to our lives, check our greed, remind us of our imperfections, offer a way of reconciliation, build resilience in our spirits and call us to live to the glory of our creator.

"No wonder they have been banned in the boardrooms of consumer culture."

Bartlesville Playtower | Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura's entry on the restored mid-century modern structure, designed by Bruce Goff, that has been restored and reopened in Bartlesville's Sooner Park. I remember climbing to the top of this when I was a kid, and I remember my dad and one of his brothers working their way around the Mobius Strip at the base of the tower. The last time I went up in the tower was 1978 when we were back at the park for my mother's high school reunion. One of the photos on this page shows the Mobius Strip structure and the tower in its prime.

What to Do If You Are Offended or Confused by Flannery O'Connor's Stories? | TGC

"Jesus's parables would offend us, too, if we hadn't heard them so many times--or if we were paying better attention.

"In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, we can all understand why the older brother, the one who has kept his nose clean, is offended by his father's eager welcoming of the wayward brother. It's a little shocking to realize that Jesus presents the older brother as just as big a jerk as the younger brother. Consider how much more shocking it would have been for Jesus's original audience, who hadn't already been told what they were supposed to think about the story.

"The parables are driven by that dissonance between the truth and the way we feel about the truth. Jesus shows us what the kingdom of God looks like; if we allow ourselves to be offended by that vision, we begin to see what needs to happen in our hearts."

This entry includes audio of Flannery O'Conner reading "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" and quotes her comments about the story.

MORE: Flannery O'Conner says that Ayn Rand "makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky."

Here's How Crazy-Long German Words are Made | Mental Floss

The animation at the link "takes you, step by step, through what's involved in creating Rhababerbarbarabarbarbarenbartbarbierbierbarbärbel, a completely valid (and probably never before uttered) word," which means "Barbie of the bar where the beer of the beard barber for the barbarians of Rhubarb Barbara's bar is sold." A commenter at Language Hat breaks the word down as follows: "Rhabarber-Barbara-Bar-Barbaren-Bart-Barbier-Bier-Bar-Bärbel." Further comments at that link discuss the use of "rhubarb" as a nonsense word for background noise in films, German use of "rhabarber" as we use "blah, blah, blah," and the Quebecois practice of growing rhubarb on compost heaps.

A map of San Francisco's subway system that almost was

As originally conceived in 1956, the system would have served all the counties bordering the bay, reaching from Los Gatos to Santa Rosa and all the way to Fairfield, Brentwood, and Livermore in the outer eastern reaches of the metro area, serving nine counties instead of the three that BART actually serves. Lines would have crossed the bays along each of the bridges. Having dealt with traffic along many of these routes, I can appreciate the convenience of taking a train instead.

The 1956 plan was unearthed was uncovered by Jake Coolidge for his master's thesis at San Jose State University. Here's his presentation putting the original BART plan in its national and local historical context. Although the images are small and hard to read, I'm struck by the similarities in graphic design with the Tulsa comprehensive planning documents from the same period.

Project: U.S. Routes as a Subway Map | Cameron Booth

This beautiful piece of cartography converts the U. S. numbered highway system into a "subway map" that follows the conventions of the London Underground map. Included are all routes from 1 to 101, plus some significant three-digit routes, such as U. S. 183 and U.S. 412. Decommissioned highways (e.g. Route 66, U. S. 99) and decommissioned sections of highways (e.g., U. S. 70 between L. A. and Globe, Arizona, U. S. 6 between Bishop and Long Beach, California) are shown as skinnier lines.

Map designer Cameron Booth (curator of Transit Maps) writes: "However, being an older road system, cobbled together in the mid-1920s from a scraggly collection of road trails, the U.S. highway system sticks to its grid far more loosely, with many routes starting or ending well out of their ordained position. This map has taken me well over a year to complete (between other projects) and I restarted my work on three separate occasions, each time almost convinced that this map was impossible. This last time, I started at the most complex intersection of roads on the map - Memphis, Tennessee - and solved it first. Once that resolved itself, clues were revealed as to how to approach the rest of the map and things got a lot easier."

A Stalker's Best Friend: Inside JSocket's Android Remote Access Tool Builder - Threat Geek

Cybersecurity expert John Bambenek writes about vulnerabilities that can give a hacker an easy way to track your Android phone, and how to reduce your risk.

Novel Rocket: Tips for Writing Speculative Fiction

J. Wesley Bush, author of Knox's Irregulars, and several other writers of science fiction and fantasy talk about the work of creating a fictional world that provides an engaging and immersive environment for a story.

BatesLine Linkblog archives



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]